Good prints and fast too, but we preferred the original design
Epson have worked wonders with the internals of the latest PictureMate models. Print quality is attractive and there's no twiddling your thumbs while printing. The large screen is a plus point and ease of use is commendable. The design is good enough, though the rather flimsy lid doesn't seem to complement the rest of the hardware well. To be honest, we don't think the new angular and boxy design introduced last year was an improvement on the curvaceous and more compat styling of the original PictureMate.
However, build quality - apart from the lid - is up to Epson's usual excellent standards and the bigger form factor does accommodate that CD/DVD writer. If you don't have a PC, the utility of the drive for archiving your photos makes sense. If you do have a PC, the PM 260 is a much more cost-effective choice.
Things we liked:
- Very fast printing
- Punchy prints
- Competitive running costs
- CD/DVD writer utility if you don't have a PC
- Easy to use
Things that could be improved:
The Epson PictureMate 290 is a very capable 6x4 printer that produces very good quality prints quickly and cheaply. It's specifically aimed at customers who either prefer not to use a PC for picture archiving or who may not have a PC at all and if you fall in to that category we can heartily recommend the PM 290. However, the inclusion of the optical drive almost doubles the price, so if you don't need this facility, we encourage you to consider the PM 260 model instead.